In the school year 2018/2019, the Experimental Program “Dual Education" is introduced in four qualifications in 11 VET schools in the Republic of Croatia with 156 enrolled students. According to the Model of Croatian Dual Education, VET curricula for salesperson, chimney sweeper and glazier at CROQF level 4.1 / EQF level 4 and beautician at CROQF level 4.2 / EQF level 4 are implemented in the 4th and the 5th cycle of education, as defined by the National Curriculum for VET (Official Gazette 62/2018). The experimental programme is financed from the state budget and from the project Modernization of VET Programs within the Swiss-Croatian Cooperation Programme.
As the basis for the experimental program, the new Model of Croatian Dual Education defines the principles and the aims of dual education, participants and their roles, the organization of educational process, financing, the completion of programmes, the partnership of key stakeholders in dual education and student enrolment. According to the new model of dual education, VET schools are responsible for teaching and learning activities in line with VET curricula, planning work-based learning (WBL) activities with business entities, preparing students for WBL, as well as supporting and supervising mentors in business entities. The partnership of VET schools and business entities reflects in cooperation in planning and implementing WBL, continuous professional development of VET teachers and mentors in business entities, exchange of new technologies and know-how, monitoring and assessment of students’ progress in WBL activities. The partnership also reflects in the organization of mid-term and final exams. As the backbone of dual education model, work-based learning is delivered in VET schools or regional competence centres and in business entities for up to 40% for qualifications at CROQF level 4.2 / EQF level 4 and up to 100% for qualifications at CROQF level 4.1 / EQF level 4. In the first year of the programme, students sign contracts with business entities and VET schools and, in subsequent years of education, contracts with business entities, which regulate the students’ employment within dual education programmes. Students are entitled to a monthly allowance during the entire programme for the part of work-based learning undertaken in business entities.
The Ministry of Science and Education is the responsible body for the implementation of the experimental programme of dual education in partnership with the Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Labour, as well as the Agency for VET and Adult Education and the Education and Teacher Training Agency, Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts, Croatian Chamber of Economy, Croatian Employers’ Association and a number of embassies in Croatia. The introduction of dual education model in Croatian education system is in line with key strategic documents, such as Croatian Government Work Programme for 2016-2020, Strategy for Education, Science and Technology and VET System Development Programme 2016-2020.